I was hurt, ashamed and disappointed…

I didn’t know why I didn’t receive the Holy Spirit.

When I was in seventh grade, I went forward to receive the Holy Spirit.  I was so excited.  From the earliest memories I have, I have always loved God and loved going to church. 

When I realized that I wanted to speak in tongues, I went for it.  A lady began to pray with me.  She laid her hands on me and she cried, and I cried – and then nothing happened. 

I was hurt, ashamed and disappointed. I didn’t know why I didn’t receive and no one could tell me, why I didn’t speak in tongues that night.

Later that week, I was at home and reading my Bible and I was quiet.  As I sat there, I heard some strange words in my heart.  Could this could be the Holy Spirit?

IMMEDIATELY, my head said, “That’s not it.  You are just making up those words.”

I closed my mouth and wondered, would I ever speak in tongues?

Several weeks later, I went forward again.  This time, as I worshipped the Lord, I heard those same, strange words in my heart.  It was the gift of tongues, my Heavenly language.  I began to speak them out and I haven’t stopped.

This was challenging, as a 13-year-old girl. I had no understanding of what I did or did not do to receive.

The fact of the matter is that it wasn’t God, (not wanting me to have the gift of tongues), it was that I didn’t understand what to do. I didn’t receive any instruction.

Have you seen this before? Kids coming forward at camp, to receive the Holy Spirit but there is no instruction on how to receive the Holy Spirit.  

Many of these kids eventually do receive the Holy Spirit, just like I did.  But there are still some that do not and walk away hurt, ashamed and disappointed. 

The most important factor in receiving the Holy Spirit is believing.  Be positive when you talk to your kids and encourage them, “You will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Bible says that if you ask the Father for the Holy Spirit that He will give Him to you. (Luke 11:9-11)

One way to prepare your kids to receive is to give them an eternal motivation, “Why do I need to speak in tongues?”

I have always taught on the benefits of praying in other tongues, so the kids can see why tongues are important.

Here is something else I do.  Instead of praying with kids at the altar, I get better results when I take them to another room to pray. The only kids that are in the room are the kids that want to receive and a handful of volunteers to help me pray.

I believe the reason I get better results is that the atmosphere increases when everyone in the room is focused on the Holy Spirit.

These are the three things I go over with kids when I am praying with them.

1 – Listen to your HEART

Listen to the words the Holy Spirit gives you in your HEART. The Holy Spirit will give words to say in a heavenly language.  It’s not a different language like Spanish or French.

2 – You Won’t Understand with your HEAD

The Holy Spirit will give you strange words in your HEART, but your HEAD won’t understand them. We will not understand these strange words with your HEAD.  We may try to, but we won’t be able to.

3 – SPEAK the words that you hear

The Holy Spirit is not going to grab your tongue and make you speak in tongues. You have to SPEAK out the words that you HEAR in your HEART even though you don’t understand them with your HEAD.

-> -> -> Download our free Holy Spirit Leader Guide #2 (all of this information in an easy-to-use guide with props, you can keep in your class).

If you really want to see your kids filled with the Holy Spirit teach on it. 

For more info on our lessons on the Holy Spirit click here.

Debra Harper

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